Orkney. Shetland and the Western Isles are to jump from Level 1 to Level 3 Covid restrictions from the 26th of December. Mainland Scotland will be placed into tier 4 – which is basically lockdown from the same date.
Relaxation of rules will only now apply on Christmas Day itself.
There will also be a ban on travel to the rest of the UK. Cross border travel ban and if it does take place, only for essential purposes.
Schools will return to online learning.
The news was announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon after a 4 nation UK meeting.
Nicola Sturgeon said in her statement:
“It will no longer be permitted for any of us to travel to anywhere in the UK for Christmas – we simply cannot take the risk of this strain traveling to different parts of the UK.
“If you do decide to travel within Scotland, that will be allowed, but only on Christmas Day.
“If you cannot make it there and back in the same day, please don’t go.”
And on schools she said:
“For the children of key workers – such as nurses in our hospitals – schools will open as previously scheduled. They will also open as normal for the most vulnerable children.
“All teachers will also return to work as scheduled and as planned.
“For the majority of pupils, however, the holiday period is being extended until 11th January.
“Starting on that date, learning will be online until at least 18th January.”
All 4 nations of the UK have imposed tougher rules. There is a new strain of Covid19 which is much more infectious than previous ones.
The First Minister of Wales in his statement said:
“Today has been one of those days when new information has required an immediate response.
“This afternoon, the Cabinet met to discuss this worrying new development in the pandemic and to hear the latest advice from our senior medical and scientific advisers, including the impact on our NHS.
“The situation is incredibly serious. I cannot overstate this.
“We have therefore reached the difficult decision to bring forward the alert level four restrictions for Wales, in line with the action being taken in London and the South East of England.
“These new restrictions will come into effect from midnight tonight instead of during the Christmas period.”
For England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson commented on the alarming figures emerging from London and the South East of England.
Boris Johnson said:
“There is still much we don’t know. While we are fairly certain the variant is transmitted more quickly, there is no evidence to suggest that it is more lethal or causes more severe illness. Equally there is no evidence to suggest the vaccine will be any less effective against the new variant.
“We are asking everyone, in all tiers, to stay local.”
This link will take you to what is permitted in tier 3 in Scotland: Tier 3
And this for Tier 4
And remember Scotland’s NHS has a contact tracing app which you can download free to your mobile phone: Protect Scotland